I’ve tried a variety of body stockings for bellydance, but by FAR my favorite is this do-it-yourself model made from a pair of fishnet dance tights.
Why do I love this one so much?
It barely shows up from a distance. Up close, fishnet has that sex appeal, and seems like part of a sexy look, not like you’re trying to hide something. Also:
- Open weave is cooler and doesn’t make you look like a Cabbage Patch doll
- Belly button looks natural
- Super elasticity means it offers some real girdle-like control for your belly and midsection (I haven’t found any premade stockings that offer this level of girdle-like control)
- Very durable and tough
- Surprisingly easy to make
Here’s how to make your own.
You Will Need
- A pair of Capezio Women’s Professional Fishnet Seamless Tights in your size or, if you’re tall, a size larger than you need. The Capezio tights have a 20% lycra content that makes the best bodystockings — by far the best shaping & holding-in effect possible. NOTE: Danskin Professional Fishnets USED to have a 32% lycra content, but they are now made with only 12% and no longer make the best body stockings.
- Bra straps, firm soft elastic, grossgrain ribbon, etc to make straps – roughly 14″ each. (You may choose to leave off straps and sew hooks into your bra to secure the top of the stocking.)
- Needle and thread
Step One: Cut off the legs
Cut each leg straight across, at least two inches below the crotch. The cut edge is going to roll up when you put them on and create something like an elastic band that will grip below your buttocks and keep them from riding up or giving you a screaming wedgie while you dance.
Remember, you can always cut off MORE if you decide you’ve left too much leg, so leave quite a bit.
If you have hooks in your bra tops to secure your body stockings, then you are done! But read on to see why I prefer straps.
Step Two: Start attaching the straps
I prefer the security of straps on my body stocking. I wear my costume bra OVER my stocking and then I use a U-top (from L Rose Designs), underbust vest, or tietop tied under the bust to hide my straps. Wearing a colored vest or top hides my straps AND my backfat (!), carries up the color from my skirt, and gives a less bare-skinned look to my costuming overall that I really like for most venues.
I’m 5’9″ tall and find that 14″ long straps work well for me. If you’re much shorter than me, or your straps have some stretch to them, you’ll want yours a little shorter. You can always start out long and try things on for fit before the final step.
Sew both straps VERY near the center back of the stocking, angling the straps *slightly* outward. It’s important to have them close together. When you stretch the body stocking to put it on, they’ll be moving further apart. You want them to hold the CENTER back of the stocking up high, so it doesn’t slip below your underbust top. Keeping them close in the back is also the secret to straps that won’t slip off your shoulders while you’re dancing.
Step Three: Securing the straps
The front of the straps should be placed very WIDE.
Remember, they’re not attached to the front of the stocking, but to the SIDES of the stocking, slightly forward of the center of each side. You want the stocking to ride just below your bust and then rise up right where an underwire would ride, at the outside of your bust.
Try the stocking on, determine the correct length for each strap, and pin the straps where you need them to fit. Take off the stocking, check that everything is symmetrical, and stitch the straps in place. They should be *just* forward of center on each side of the stocking.
Wearing the stocking
This model is wearing the stocking over a black bra to show you how it should fit. Normally it would be worn UNDER your costume bra.
Notice how the straps pull the sides of the stocking high, which will keep the elastic close, under the costume bra.
Your stocking is finished! If you want, you could sew a few scattered sequins over it. I often put mine on then spray it with glitter hairspray – doesn’t last long, but superquick and cheap.
You could also make gauntlets out of the leftover legs, and sew a few sequins on them.
Detail of back of stocking
Notice how the back straps sit close together (but not nearly as close as they looked on the unstretched bodystocking).
See how they help to hold the back elastic up high, where it will be hidden by a vest or crop top?
Yay! It’s finished!
The finished stocking, worn under a costume and U-top. In this case, I’m wearing a color slightly darker than my skintone. When the color is well-matched, the stocking will barely show at all from a distance.